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Doing the ‘dad’ dance

Here’s the standard soirée stroll in Monte Carlo: You start with a cocktail and maybe a little steak tartare with matchstick fries at Le Café de Paris, amble up Princesse Grace to Moods for some live music, and end up at Jimmy’z as much for its decadence as for its dance music (okay, maybe more so for the decadence; as a young thing at Café de Paris told me, “There’s not room on the dance floor to do anything but the ‘dad’ dance, which is just as well since most of the guys there are middle-aged perma tanned men with anorexic chicks on their arms—oops! Sorry!”)

She was sorry because we were the middle-aged perma tanned dads she was dissing (although my perma tan isn’t in the same league as Hardy’s) and, unfortunately, we didn’t have any skinny babes on our arms. Still, her point was well taken. So we decided to skip Jimmy’z and spend the evening at Moods, sort of the Blue Note jazz club of Monte Carlo, a place where aficionados like Bill Wyman might stop in late in the evening to hook up with Louis Bertignac on “Hey Joe.”

They get some interesting bands here. Next month John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers will be there. That would be interesting to see. What we got was a hip 9-man French group, called La Tribu, fronted by vocalist Didier Bozzi, whose motto is “Always keeping the funk alive.” Imagine a white man’s P-Funk or Parliament and you’ve got it. We walked in just as Bozzi and the boyz were launching into a James Brown tribute (This is a man’s world/This is a man’s world/But it wouldn’t be nothin’ without a woman or a girl). 

Bozzi wasn’t kidding. Up at the bar, which is a level above the main floor, there were only a couple of women. One was this androgynous French woman with short hair and a muscular body. Like Bozzi, she was keeping the funk alive, groovin’ like a tambourine-playing member of Sly and the Family Stone. When the band got into a Wilson Pickett number she couldn’t stand it anymore and grabbed a guy and pulled him onto the small dance space in front of the bar. They were pretty hot, the guy lifting her up by her waist, like a ballet dancer, and slowly sliding her down the front of his body in a very erotic move. Good stuff. But after a couple of numbers, the couple had had enough and they moved on. Probably to Jimmy’z. And when she left, the vibe at Moods left with her. As the godfather of soul said, it’s a man’s world—but it don’t mean nothin’ without a woman or a girl. 

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Cafe de Paris and the golddigers

One by one, like players in an Oceans Eleven film, our little ensemble arrived in Nice yesterday afternoon. Smaller from Dubai, Nicholls from Kuala Lumpur, Fletcher from Newport Beach, Roberts from Boston, and the London Rat Pack—St. John, Ian, Austin and, of course, Hardy, our host. A glass of champagne aboard Hardy’s 110-foot sailing yacht, Unplugged, and a short cruise to La Porte de Monaco where we tied up for the night at the gas dock, a rather unusual development necessitated by the great number of megayachts in town for Monaco Classic Week and the Regates Royales in Canne.

Champagne aboard the Unplugged in Monaco

Champagne aboard the Unplugged in Monaco

I don’t know what the deal is but it’s almost impossible to get a taxi from the harbor to Monte Carlo. Even worse is trying to get one going back, particularly late at night. A few years ago when we were here we stood in a drizzling rain at two in the morning along Av. Princesse Grace looking like a sorry bunch of hookers after a fruitless evening at Jimmy’z.

We didn’t even mess with trying to find a taxi in the harbor this year. Instead, Hardy flagged down a hotel van that was just pulling out of the parking garage of the Riviera Marriott and offered the guy a wad of euros to take us to the Café de Paris on the plaza next to the casino. 

This is a wicked scene—drunk tourists, super-rich Russians, young Italian playboys, and more than a few well-dressed gold diggers (Cutie da bomb/Met her at a beauty salon/With a baby Louis Vuitton/Under her underarm). You just pull up a wicker chair and watch the show go on in front of you—a half-naked girl sitting on the hood of a Ferrari, holding a bottle of Veuve; young things from Eastern Europe in barely-there skirts, primping like models along the promenade, just waiting for some grotesquely rich Russian (preferably one named Roman) to suggest a late-night trip out to their yacht; transvestites in full-length furs.

The Café de Paris is like an outdoor cabaret. Where the floor show never ends. So we sat there, elbow-to-elbow with some shit-faced-lederhosen-wearing Germans on one side of us and two silk-suited gay Italians on the other, drinking a beer. One beer. A beer that cost 15 euros each or about $22. And it wasn’t even cold.

Now I ain’t saying the Café de Paris is a golddigger. But she ain’t messin’ with no broke….

Well, you know what I mean.

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